Can You Use Instant Pot As Slow Cooker

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What Is Low Slow Cooker Setting On Instant Pot

How to Use the Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker | Instant Pot 101 For Beginners
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A slow cooker also known as the crockpot is a device that provides a digitally controlled environment that allows you to cook foods for a long period without major temperature fluctuations.

A slow cooker is good for a lot of things. Its convenient, easy-to-use, and you can leave it for hours without worrying about burning your food.

But, slow cookers are on the verge of being eliminated by a much more advanced machine called the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot is a multi-cooker, meaning it can perform several functions instead of just one. An Instant pot is mainly a pressure cooker that saves you a lot of time, but aside from that, it can sauté, make yogurt, make rice, steam cook, and can be used as a slow cooker.

Although the Instant Pot has the slow cooker functionality it was not built for slow cooking. Its made to speed up your cooking process whereas a crockpot slows it down.

So when using an Instant Pot as a slow cooker, a few things must be kept in mind:

  • An Instant pot only heats from the bottom whereas a slow cooker heats from all sides.
  • If you are transitioning from a crockpot, its worth noting that a crock pots internal temperature at a particular setting is always 20 to 30 percent higher than an instant pot. For example, the keep warm setting of a crockpot provides heat equivalent to the low setting of an instant pot.
  • You will not be able to use a thermometer as well.
  • How To Use An Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker

    You cant use your Instant Pot as an Instant Pot Slow Cooker. It isnt as easy as you might think. This guide will show you how to use an Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker.

    Its not as simple as setting the Instant Pots slow cooker to cook the same recipe as a slow cooker. This article briefly covers the Slow Cooker function of Instant Pot Functions. However, it delved into the subject more deeply and gave you the recipe to success when using the Instant Pot as a Slow cooker. Lets get started!

    Comparing An Instant Pot To A Slow Cooker

    An Instant Pot has several useful features, including steam, sauté, and warming options. It also has a slow cooker function, which heats the pot but doesnt pressurize it, just like a slow cooker. It can also cook rice and yogurt, and you can cook food straight from the freezer.

    Slow cookers are quite useful for easy, set-it-and-forget-it meals. However, you do have to have the forethought to get everything set up in the morning so that it can cook while youre gone during the day. So if youre not much of a planner, you may be better suited to the speed and convenience of an Instant Pot.

    But one great thing about slow cookers is how simple they are. You just toss your food inside, turn it on, and thats it! The Instant Pot has several buttons that control different functions, and it can take time in the beginning to learn what they all do. And the Instant Pot needs to pressurize before cooking and de-pressurize after cooking, which can take some getting used to.

    Another edge that slow cookers have over Instant Pots is that theyre inexpensive. An Instant Pot will run you between $80 and $150 depending on the model you choose, so it does require a financial investment. But with how frequently Ive used my Instant Pot since I bought it a few months ago, its well worth the money in my opinion.

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    Instant Pot And Slow Cooker Recipes

    Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started with a slow cooker or Instant Pot. You can usually adjust the recipe to use either type of cooker.

    • Honey Sesame Chicken: My children call this “candy” chicken, and the sweet/salty diced chicken is a huge hit in my house! We adjust the recipe to omit the pepper flakes and often the sesame seeds, but either way is great. Cook this meal in a matter of minutes, and it pairs really well with rice or cauliflower rice. Substitute pork, shrimp, or beef for equally delicious results.

    How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt Cups

    What Is an Instant Pot?

    Yogurt cups are a convenient way to portion out your yogurt into individual or smaller servings. After adding the starter culture to the pasteurized or warm milk, carefully pour the milk into your yogurt cups and seal them tightly. Clean the inner pot thoroughly and place the steam rack/trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the sealed yogurt cups on the steam rack and add water to the inner pot until the cups are submerged halfway. Follow steps in Fermenting Yogurt above.

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    Must Have: A Tempered Glass Lid

    Youll use this virtually every time you cook with your Instant Pot.

    Need to simmer your soup or sweat some veggies before pressure cooking them? This lid is a must. You can use the regular lid for this, but its heavy and cumbersome. The glass lid is much easier to use, especially after dinner is served and you want to keep things warm when you inevitably double back for a second helping.

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    How To Tackle Cooking Times

    Probably the most difficult part of of converting any recipe is figuring out how long to cook and at what temperature. Instant Pot cooking times are much lower than Crock Pot cook times, so youll always want to extend the time it takes to cook a recipe in the crock pot.

    For example, Crock Pot Carnitas take about 40 minutes in the Instant Pot. It would take about 15 minutes to build pressure and the natural pressure release would add 10-20 minutes, so a total of just over an hour for pressure cooking, but theyd take a few hours to slow cook.

    There are some resources out there that will give you a general idea of how much you are cooking and what temperature/time it will require. There is a great guide on Crock-Pot.com but they keep moving it, so I cant link to it. Id google and search for it 🙂 The guide gives you cooking times, fill levels, and even some conversions between high and low temperature cooking time.

    Remember that when you are cooking meat, its important to be sure that the internal temperature reaches a safe level. Use the recipes as a resource but always check your meat temperatures before eating.

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    Ensure That The Recipe Contains At Least 1 Cup Of Liquid

    A slow cooker doesnt require any liquid, but the Instant Pot does. The Instant Pot heats up quickly so the ingredients dont have time to release their natural flavors. This can quickly turn your food into a hockey puck-sized burnt mess.

    You will need liquid to solve the problem. This helps create pressure in the pot. Adjust your slow cooker recipe to have at least 1 cup liquid. This extra cup of liquid will not evaporate in a pressure cooker and it will remain after you finish cooking your food. To avoid making a watered-down version of your favorite recipe you can place your ingredients on the steamer insert. You can also use the Saute function to heat up the liquid leftover from the pressure cooker.

    Best Sling: Oxo Good Grips Bakeware Sling

    Slow Cook in the Instant Pot

    If youre looking for a durable accessory that can be used while baking in the Instant Pot, the OXO Bakeware Sling is a great option. Getting bakeware in and out of the pot without spilling, and getting it out of the hot pot without burning your hands can be a challenge, even if youve got sturdy potholders. This handy sling solves the problem, and also means you dont have to bother with the metal trivet since it lifts the bakeware off the bottom of the pot. Not just for the Instant Pot, this can be used in a pot on the stove, too.

    Many Instant Pot users report that when they cook spicy or pungent foods in their Instant Pot, the seal tends to absorb the odor. While there are many methods that can reduce the odor, some of them are time-consuming and may not work for all scents. The answer to that problem is simplejust have one or more extra sealing rings on hand, so one ring can be used when youve added highly flavorful spices to your savory foods and a second can be used for delicately flavored foods and desserts.

    An extra ring is handy to keep on hand, even if spicy foods arent an issue, since you never know when the dog might decide the ring is a pull toy. This is a set of two authentic Instant Pot rings in red and blue so you can tell which is for spicy foods without sniffing.

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    How To Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker

  • Prep your food. Cut, chop, or season the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Place the lid on the pot. Again, a tempered glass lid will work best for this purpose but you can use the standard lid if that’s all you have available.
  • Press the Slow Cook button. If you have the 3-quart version, it’s on the bottom right side, under the Steam button.
  • Set the time. Set the cooking duration between 30 minutes and 20 hours with the + and buttons under the time display.
  • Press the Adjust button. It’s in the bottom center section on the 3-quart version, next to Timer and above Manual. You can choose “Normal,””More,” and “Less.” These correspond to medium, high, and low on a traditional Crock-Pot.
  • Cook. Cooking will start automatically 10 seconds after the last button is pressed. When your recipe is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will beep and transition automatically to “Keep Warm” for 10 hours.
  • Oxo Good Grips Pressure Cooker Bakeware Sling

    Your Instant Pot comes with a metal steam rack and that works perfectly well. Weve just found that its not always easy to get the inner pot out when its time. So you can either create a sling for your pot or, instead of doing that every time, you can get this silicone bakeware sling, which you can reuse over and over again. It lifts your container up off the bottom of the liner and you can totally place it on top of any food that youre cooking on the bottom layer . Note: Its key that the container you use for PIP cooking sits on a rack or on top of other food versus being placed directly in the insert.

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    Why You Should Not Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker

    Yes, there’s a setting, but your slow-cooker recipes aren’t going to work as well in it.

    Editor’s Note: The Instant Pot is great for making a lot of amazing things, from perfect stuffed peppers, to delicious deviled eggs and more. But most of the time, we love it for its speedy pressure-cooking capabilities. So what about that other button, the one that says “slow cook” on it?

    Instant Pot To Crockpot Conversion

    Should You Use Your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker?

    Please use this table to convert Slow Cooker recipe cooking time to Instant Pot Slow Cook mode.

    Instant Pot Setting
    HighAdd 15 mins to every hour in the slow cooker recipe

    Slow cooker high setting: This is the least straightforward conversion because Instant Pot can get as warm as real slow cooker. I highly recommend to add extra 15 mins to every hour of cooking time indicated in Slow Cooker recipe when cooking on High in Instant Pot Slow Cooker.

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    Other Concerns: Safety And Energy

    Over on , I’ll often suggest that any slow cooker recipe will come out better if you make the exact same recipe in a Dutch oven with the lid slightly cracked, placed on a rack in a 225°F oven for the day, instead of cooking it in a slow cooker. This is okay for a weekend, when you’re around the house, but what about on weekdays? Surely it can’t be safe, right?

    Let’s be clear about one thing here: Leaving any piece of cooking equipment on for the day, unattended, is a risk, and the National Fire Protection Association recommends against it, whether it’s an oven or a slow cooker. Unattended cooking is by far the most common cause of kitchen fires, accounting for 34% of them.

    But given that you’re going to assume that risk and leave one cooking device on for the day, are ovens actually more dangerous than slow cookers?

    I read through a very detailed annual report from the NFPA to shed a bit of light on the matter. According to that report, ovens account for about 13% of fires overall, while slow cookers account for only 4%. That said, your odds of starting an oven fire greatly increase when you leave the oven unattended at high temperatures, as opposed to the 200 to 225°F you’d use when slow-cooking or braising.

    Do You Seal The Instant Pot When Slow Cooking

    No. There is no need to seal the Instant Pot completely when you use your Instant Pot slow cooker function.

    When slow cooking in the Instant Pot, you can cover the pot using a tempered glass lid or the regular Instant Pot lid.

    If you are using the Instant Pot lid, you need to move the steam release valve to the venting position.

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    Omit A Few Ingredients While Cooking Under Pressure

    There are a few ingredients that dont work well under pressure. The Instant Pot gets too hot too quickly for dairy which means they can scorch. Modify your recipe so youre adding these ingredients after youve finished the pressure cooking setting.

    Similarly, thickening ingredients also cause problems by preventing the Instant Pot from building pressure correctly. If your recipe calls for flour-coated chicken , saute the chicken without the flour to avoid any problems. You can add any thickening agents at the end and simmer them in using the Saute function.

    Finally, since liquid doesnt evaporate under pressure, avoid adding wine or beer to Instant Pot recipes. The alcohol vapors wont burn off like they do in the slow cooker, so youll end up with an incredibly tart, acidic or malty flavor in your dish.

    Do I Need To Adjust My Recipes At Higher Altitude

    How to Use you Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

    The short answer is yes. Some Instant Pot models e.g. Ultra and MAX will allow you to set your altitude and the cooking times will be automatically adjusted for you. Otherwise, cooking should be adjusted 5% for every 1,000 feet above 2,000 ft. above sea level. So, for example, at 3,000 ft., you will increase cooking time by 5% and at 4,000 ft., you will increase cooking time by 10% and so forth. One of our team members has lived at many varying high elevations and personally, I have never run into altitude-related issues with my Duo model.

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    The Quick Way: Pro Tip For Converting From Instant Pot Recipes To Slow Cooker

    I try to keep in mind that not everything is meant to be cooked in the crockpot. The same goes for the Instant Pot. Make sure that the recipe you are trying to convert is suitable for the crockpot.

    Now for the good stuff: the cheaters path to quickly converting slow cooker recipes.

    Find a similar crockpot recipe and use that as a base for your temperature and cooking time base.

    A great example is cooking something like my Instant Pot Lasagna. Although my recipe is a healthier alternative you can use a regular crockpot lasagna recipe as a guide for how to layer the lasagna and how long to cook it for.

    How An Instant Pot Works

    Like many other cooking methods, the Instant Pot produces a lot of steam during the cooking process. But rather than allowing the steam to escape, the steam is trapped inside which pressurizes the pot. Things under pressure cook faster and retain more moisture, resulting in tender, moist food in a shorter period of time than other methods. Once the food is done, the Instant Pot releases its pressure and youre ready to eat!

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    The Instant Pot And Slow Cooker Heat Up Differently

    Slow cookers heat from the bottom, but heat travels up the sides through heat spreading evenly through ceramic pots. Instant Pot heats similarly from the bottom, but the thin metal pot does not spread heat evenly. The heat is generated from pressurized steam that is trapped in the pot. This makes it less suitable for slow cooking.

    Whats The Difference Between A Crockpot And An Instant Pot

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    A crockpot or slow cooker, always cooks on low heat for longer period of times. There are some advanced models that let you saute or bake.

    An electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot has more settings and some cook fast under a high pressure and it also has a lower slow cooker setting that cooks things slow.

    The way the heating elements are installed in the Instant Pot is a bit different from a crockpot.

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